The list author says: "There are lots of games out there, but which ones are *truly* good and worth playing over and over again? Which ones are duds? Read on! And check back in a few months, after birthdays deliver a new set of fun games to try!"
"Teaches how to use free spaces and wilds, and how to play strategically against an opponent. Players are dealt cards that they must match with spaces on the board to create four-in-a-row. Lots of fun and kids love the silly animal names."
"Players work together to return the owlets to their nest. Takes kids a little adjustment (they want to move 'their' owl initially), but eventually the collaborative spirit kicks in. Very simple and moves quickly."
"Fun starting at age 3! Roll the dice to see how many elephants or other circus critters you have to balance. Try to be the player to balance the 10th elephant to win! Play it on a rug, not hardwood floors, to minimize the noise a little."
"Nothing beats the oldies but goodies: Go Fish and Old Maid. Offerings on Amazon are more expensive than need be, including this item. Check your local retailer for kid card packs, which are smaller than the standard 52-card set."
"Basic Uno, kiddified: Match either the animal or color of piece to the one on the hayloft, and try to get rid of your pieces first. It can be used as a simple matching game for younger kids, while employing the wilds (pick two more pieces) will keep the older kids engaged."
"A simple game that can be used for three-year-olds: Roll the dice to determine whether you win a mouse, lose a mouse, or do nothing. Our older child continues to play this because she likes being able to run the game all by herself."
"Match colors on cards to assemble snakes using as many cards as you can. It's a very simple premise that can be adapted even for three-year-olds (play cards face-up). Cards are sturdy; make sure to hiss like a snake at the end of each successful snake played!"
"Eh, it's okay: Yahtzee using your favorite Mickey Mouse characters. Kids learn to strategize their play and they count the squares at the end. The biggest hit of this game is shaking the dice in the cup."
"Knock the ice blocks out around a skater in increasing peril, and be the one who doesn't knock her into the frigid waters below. The cubes pack tightly, so adult assistance for younger players is necessary after each game, which lasts just a few minutes. Consider if you want to babysit this one."
"Try to flick plastic ants against a cardboard backstop into a small opening. It's hard to get the ants to flip right, which frustrates and discourages young kids. They end up tossing the ants around the room instead. Save your money and buy a nice ball instead."